In my family we cannot imagine Christmas without Christmas linzer. If you have known me for a while, you know that around Christmas I start baking these wonderful cookies which last long so they are perfect for holidays. My mother bakes it every year as well so at Christmas we exchange boxes of our own versions and although we use the same recipe they are always slightly different.
For me it is not only a tradition but the cookie of holiday breakfasts. In those cople of days after the 24th of December the world slows down, even big cities stop vibrating. You can only see a few cars on the roads, those ones, who are heading from home to a family member. This is the time of the year when we all stop for a little while, we rest and more importantly eat. Especially in Hungary. I love Christmas mornings. We don’t need to get up early, there are no long “to do” lists, as usually I have even for weekends. We don’t need to do anything, just BE. It doesn’t matter if it is snowing or not, if it is cold and dark or sunny and warm. We are happy for that what we have. We can take a tray with a cup of hot tea and Christmas linzer cookies to bed, and spend the whole morning reading under the warm blanket.
But one thing is absolutely necessary to be able to do that. I need to put these cookies- that I have just baked- into a jar, close it and put it into a secure place where nobody can find it….
(…only me who is the pastry chef and who is responsible for regular quality control until Christmas)
Linzer Christmas cookies
300 g flour
250 g butter or margarine
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 package of vanilla sugar
100 g confectioner’s sugar
grated lemon zest of a lemon
1 pinch of salt
30 g ground walnut
3 tsp. of sugar
Grate butter or margarine, mix with the flour and baking powder. Separate the egg, add egg yolk, vanilla sugar, confectioner’s sugar, lemon zest and salt to the dough, preserve the egg white for brushing. Knead the dough well than put it into the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 °C. Roll it out to half centimetre thin and by using a cookie cutter cut any shape you wish. Mix sugar and ground walnut, brush each cookie with egg white, and fold it into the sugar-walnut mixture. Put the cookies on a baking pan lined with paper and bake them for about 10 minutes. (I suggest you to check the first bunch of cookies, because baking time can depend on your oven. Knead the rest of the dough together, and roll and cut it again until you used and baked all of it.
You can make a wreath by sticking star-shapes on each other in a circle, brush the top with the egg white and sprinkle with the walnut-sugar mixture.